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in-bcarers   of  the Raja by turns.   They also cultivated

their land, ard earned a comfortable living.    Women and some

men gathered forest produce from neighbouring dense forest which

them to enhance their earnings.

One hundred and fifty years ago,   the   Rajah shifted  the

Gadabas westward  to the present location to construct  a tank.

The tank Is tnoun   as   Raja Cheruvu (Raja's tank).   The new

(valasa) to which the Gadabas moved is therefore known

as Rajacheruvu valasa,

Zamiadari abolition denudation of forest have Inflicted

a severe blow oa their economy. There is no Rajah to ride a

palanquin. Zamindarl land whose usefract they enjoyed

previously lias been taken away. They have become landless.

They used to make a fair living by exploiting forest produce.

But deforestation has destroyed the dense forest. The Gadabas

ha\e little to fail back upon.

As a result they live in wretched poverty. Their niimber in

the whole taluk was just 31 according to the census of 1961. Today

there are just 5i Gadaba households in Raja Cheruvu Velasa.

Deprived of the means of life, the Gadabas '6a lost people"

 look to the grim future with the only hope left to them that

**^                                                                                      ^                *" 

Mother Desi and Jakara Devata will take care of them.


31-12-91                                                                   D. R. Patnaik